Love means constantly having to say you’re sorry

They say “love means never having to say you’re sorry”, but despite every signal the administration has given us to the contrary, business school is in fact not a critically acclaimed 1970s romantic drama starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw – instead we get the more ethnically diverse but arguably less dramatically talented Jordan Strebeck and Sarah Arora to grace our silver screens. This line may have first been uttered sincerely, but it turns out that one of the most important factors in the success of a relationship is knowing when saying sorry is necessary – and this turns
out to be more often than most for us b-school students. And by the way, speaking as the first runner up of the 2013 Harbus Most Eligible Bachelor Competition and the presumptive champion of the as-yet-unannounced 2014 Harbus Most Eligible Bachelor Competition (eat your heart out Danny Samit), I believe I am more than qualified to give advice on matters of the heart. Hold on, does that make me more or less qualified?
A not-even-a-little-bit-comprehensive list of reasons for which Harvard Business School students may want to consider apologizing:
Offense: Steering the conversation back to how that one time you “totally tried the
whole entrepreneurship thing” but it really wasn’t for you. For the sixth time. On
your first date.
Egregiousness level: Five failed attempts at a “friends and family” investing
round
Penance: Post a question on Quora reading “I tried to build an MVP for my startup,
but my life-size Malcolm Smith robot still can’t recover a fumble to save his life.
What do I do?” Earnestly engage with every commenter who tries to correct you.
Offense: Mentioning that you “go to grad school in Boston” and forcing your date
to ask the follow-up question
Egregiousness level: Nine indignant Wharton grads claiming that Philly is totally a
top-tier city
Penance: The next six times you’re asked, you must reply that you go to
“Hahvahd” in an exaggerated townie accent. Additionally, wear your section fleece
next time you go out clubbing, with a section t-shirt underneath, and HBS
sweatpants. Wait, they make HBS sweatpants? Seriously?
Offense: Making fun of a “second tier” business school in print
Egregiousness level: One written letter of indignation from an admissions director
(Seriously? Registered mail is still a thing?)
Penance: Add an item to your list of reasons why Harvard Business School students
may want to consider saying they’re sorry indicating that you are aware that you
shouldn’t make fun of other business schools and that you’re very sorry. Also Philly
is totally a great city. I hear it’s got great food or something. Does Cheez Whiz count
as food now?
Offense: Bringing a copy of your resume, including “personal interests” section, to
dinner
Egregiousness level: Three quickly-rejected consulting applicationsPenance: Actually do all of the things listed in your “personal interests” section.
Harsh, I know, but the punishment fits the crime.
Offense: One of those personal interests is “reading The Economist”
Egregiousness level: Four smugly-delivered (but ultimately factually incorrect)
comments in Marketing
Penance: Change your name on your Economist print edition subscription to “Miss
Chanandler Bong”. If you don’t get that reference, watch more television, you
uncultured lout. If you don’t have a print subscription to the Economist, well, I don’t
know what to tell you.
Offense: And you listed your FIELD 3 project under “Work Experience”
Egregiousness level: Six “#FBT” t-shirts that you’re totally gonna use HBS funds
to print
Penance: If you’re an RC, immediately enter your FIELD team onto the failed
business track. If you’re an EC you’ve already done this, you’re good to go.
Offense: Taking your significant other out for a “night on the town” to see Jamie
Dimon talk in Burden. For the third time this semester.
Egregiousness level: Seven highly-acclaimed and incredibly interesting talks by
CEOs of Fortune 100 companies that you skipped so you could attend section drinks
instead
Penance: Share your calendar with your significant other so you can no longer
“surprise” them with financial service executives on your dates. Additionally, when
the session moves to Q&A, ask Mr. Dimon if he’s free for dinner next week – you’d
love to host him and his wife at your apartment. You’ll be cooking pheasant, and if
he has any nut allergies he should let you know immediately.

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